NBC’s ‘Smash’ season 2 premiere review: Finally, some right notes

SmashAfter “Smash” wrapped up airing its first season last year, there were admittedly some times where it was entertaining to actually go back and read some of the positive reviews so many of us gave to the show’s pilot. It was something that was really being anointed as an Emmy contender one out of fifteen episodes in, and the latter episodes of the season were almost a cold, calculating reminder to all of us that this is what we get for getting ahead of ourselves.

Luckily, we are pleased to return that the show was at least partially back to what the pilot was to us: a story largely about Broadway, and people trying to make it there despite personal and professional troubles. Karen and Julia were both still very much on the mend after having to through some pretty terrible breakups, while “Bombshell” itself was splitting apart at the scenes. While Karen won the role of Marilyn and Ivy was eventually fired for some of her actions last season, the critics’ take on the book were so terrible that there was once again trouble trying to get the show off the ground.

Therefore, much of this episode was about rebuilding. We saw Ivy start to get on the right track again, Julie move in with Tom as she looks to repair herself in some way, and we had a score of new characters to cycle in from the old ones. Jennifer Hudson was clearly the bright spot of the entire episode as a full-fledged Broadway star, and we also just want to watch a show all about her now rather than just something about Karen and/or Ivy.

While we still don’t love Derek (who Ivy thankfully turned away this week) and there are still moments where it tries much too hard, we have to applaud “Smash” for really rising to the occasion for its premiere Tuesday. There was a whole heap of great things that the show managed to pull off, and this is truly a case where the good outweighs the bad.

Did you find this episode to be far better than anything that we saw during the first season, or at least since the pilot? Be sure to share some of your thoughts below, and you should be sure to also catch the recent (and hilarious) interview featuring Katharine McPhee and Russell Brand over at the link here.

Photo: NBC

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